Freeport 815-235-2111 — Galena 779-214-0461 — Galena Territory 815-777-3100

You should look at several homes before choosing one so you have a basis for comparison.

Don’t be turned off by paint colors- itís an easy & cheap fix.

Don’t forget to check the basement- check the age of the furnace and water heater, look for evidence of water damage or mold along the walls.

Don’t shy away from homes that are not in move in condition, if a little work will increase the value, it may be worth the effort.

Don’t place all damages on the same level, worn carpet is far less serious than a leaking roof.

When looking at empty homes, try to visualize the rooms with your furniture to make sure you will have enough space. Take measurements if you need to.

Short sales generally take much longer to close than standard sales.

Drive by the neighborhood at different times during the day to understand the area.

Donít be afraid to talk to the neighbors to get information about what itís like to live there.

Remember, bad neighbors and run down houses in close proximity can have an impact on the value of a property.

GET PRE-APPROVED FIRST. Unless you are buying with cash this needs to be your first step.

Be flexible about your wants. One house will seldom fit all your wants so be ready to compromise.

Check the driveway and sidewalks for cracks. Re-placing concrete can be expensive.

Donít be blinded by nice dÈcor. The owner will be taking that with him. Remember you are buying the empty house, not the owners high end furnishings.

If you plan on re-selling in 5 years or less, make sure you buy in an area that has good resale value short term.

Always check comparable sale information when deciding how much to bid. Your Realtor can provide you with this information.

Be careful when placing an offer on a property not to insult the sellers. There is a fine line between a competitive starting offer and an offer so low that the seller gets offended and refuses to counter.

Get a home inspection. For around $300 a licensed professional will inspect the property and give you a report on the condition of the home. It may save you from making a costly mistake.

Have an attorney at closing. For most people, buying a home is the biggest investment of their lives. Having an attorney at the closing is the best way to protect that investment.

Keep all your closing documents together in a safe place.

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